Here are just some of things people did for 22nd October 2016, International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD). BSA invited people to talk about stammering.
The Airedale Stammering Therapy Group developed a poster to raise awareness around International Stammering Awareness Day - great effort!
You can download a full-size version of the poster from this link (pdf).
BSA Rory Sheridan has been raising awareness in a local hospital. He writes: "Over the past month or so, I’ve been working with Louise Hillyer, a Speech and Language Therapist at Lewisham Hospital (Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust) to help with putting on a stand or ‘raising awareness table’ which was situated in the main thoroughfare of the hospital on 21st October at lunchtime.
The stand featured quotes from clients, what to do and not to do with a person who stammers, famous people who stammer, a quiz to get people’s brains working overtime and lots more! Many people stopped by to take a look and have a go at the quiz. Sadly I couldn't be a part of the day.
I also created silhouettes for the stand, using quotes from young adult members of the group that meet at the Hospital. I collaborated on this with Louise, who had the original idea.
It was a pleasure to be a part of and an amazing way to raise awareness in such a busy hospital environment."
Wendy Ronaldson set up a 'Stammering Awareness Day' stand in her local Morrisons supermarket.
Adam Wright posted a video to Facebook and Youtube:
Speech and language therapist Kathryn Bond in Yorkshire wrote a poem for ISAD, with expressions and images used by children who stammer.
She says: “I have never forgotten a nine year old who described her stammer as 'petrifying', and I have based the actions of the listener in the poem on current advice regarding supporting stammering e.g. acceptance, openness, listening, giving time, non-avoidance etc.”
The poem was shared on Bradford District Care Foundation Trust Facebook page and Twitter on 22nd October:
I have a stammer.
It follows me everywhere.
It eats up my words.
I don't want it.
I try to stop the stammer.
No one knows a giant lives in my throat.
"G…g...g…g…g…g…go away," I shout.
A tummy of fluttering butterfly words
Nibbling my inside.
I look away and think,
"I wish the stammer would leave.”
Often my words gush out
Like a waterfall, a force
Longing to flow like a river.
"Phew, a smooth run that time."
I talk in fear.
Watching other children play
Sounds silently caged I frown.
You calmly say, “I see you’re feeling mad
sense you’re feeling sad."
Relieved words fly.
Your eyes hold my words.
Show me they are worthy of your ears
Whether I stammer or not.
Give me space to talk.
‘I like that.’
When the next sound blocks
You slowly state.
"That was a tricky word, it got stuck.”
I sigh, "Yes, m..m..m..m..my words do that sometimes."
You smile,"It's okay to stammer”
I talk, talk some more
Oh the rewards
My confidence soars.
You say, "Be brave just do it.”
My stammer is loosening.
People patiently wait as sounds
Skip, bounce, slide.
I think,"I only stammer sssssometimes but
I can say what I want to say always."
Outside curious children question,
"Why? Why do you talk that way?
I say, "I've got a stammer, my words don't flow
It's part of who I am and with me it will grow
Now c…c…c…come on let's play.”
By Kathryn Bond (Specialist SLT in Dsyfluency)